This article was written in 2021.
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is a city with a long history in terms of culture and cuisine. You'll find absolutely delicious and mouth-watering foods from all around the world. Even when Kolkata was known as Calcutta, it was the metropolis where you could find food from all across the country as well as British colonies. Calcutta was one of the best culinary cities where all food enthusiasts head to indulge in delicious food.
Today, Kolkata remains one of the top cities in the world for experiencing delectable foods from around the globe. You may sample a variety of meals and cuisines, including Biryani. Kolkata has a long history with biryani, and Bengalis adore it!
Biryani was originally introduced to Bengali's in the year 1856 when the 10th and the last Nawab of Awadh were exiled and forced to live out in the British capital, Calcutta. He took the Lucknowi Biryani's recipe and added potatoes to it, making the food last longer and also increase the quantity so that he could feed his fleet of loyal soldiers. Soon the recipe spread among the locals and became one of the most popular food dishes in the city. Ever since then, Bengalis have cooked and eaten the world-famous Kolkata-style biryani!
Bengali food is not typically very spicy and that influence is seen in Bengali biryani as well. Unlike Hyderabadi biryani, which is spicy and full of masala, Kolkata style biryani has a more mild flavor and a perfect balance of Awadhi biryani and Mughlai biryani.
Today, in Kolkata there are a lot of restaurants and establishments that serve utterly delicious biryani. You have a lot of options when it comes to this dish, you've got Kolkata style chicken biryani, beef biryani, veg biryani with fried potato, Awadhi biryani, and Bengali biryani - the Kacchi Biryani.
There are so many possibilities that picking where to go might be difficult. That is why, for all of you biryani lovers, we will be looking at some of the top restaurants and institutions where you can enjoy delicious biryani!
So, let's get right into it!
Popular Biryani joints in Kolkata
1. Arslan, Park Street
If you love true authentic Mughlai biryani, Arsalan is the perfect place for you to go and indulge in tasty chicken biryani! Arsalan is also one of the most popular places in Kolkata and has a legendary reputation for serving the best chicken dum biryani. They've been serving the same dish for almost a decade, and believe us when we say the flavor hasn't changed! Basmati rice, bay leaf, marinated chicken, boiled egg, turmeric powder, spices, caramelized onions, and fried potato are served with their distinctive biryani masala powder. The end result is a delicacy that will leave your taste buds in bliss! Talking about the place, it is a casual dining restaurant with all the basic amenities like well-cushioned furniture, ample lighting, and air-conditioning. It's the perfect place to even take your family out for a nice meal. The staff is very friendly and the service is really fast! It's one of the best places in Kolkata to have biryani and a must-visit place for all biryani lovers!
INR 1000, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
2. Kareems', Salt Lake
Another very popular establishment in Kolkata is where you can delicious biryani, North Indian, and Mughlai cuisine. They are best known for their Awadi biryani and Awadhi style of cooking. The head cook of Kareems' has been a part of Kareems' for over a decade now and has been satisfying customers ever since.Their biryani recipe is kept a closely guarded secret; the masala they use to cook their biryani is a mystery, but whatever they add appears to work wonders and gratify every customer! When it comes to the location, it's a very stylish modern casual diner. Bricked walls, vintage furniture, oak flooring, chandeliers, and many TVs for live sporting events are just a few of the features. This is unquestionably a really attractive location that should not be overlooked! The personnel is friendly and willing to help you in any way they can. Although the service is average, you may have to wait a while for your food during peak hours. But other than that, the place is a must-visit and should be on your list too!
INR 1000, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
3. Aminia, Rajarhat
One establishment that can give Arsalan and Kareems' a run for their money, is Aminia. The very popular establishment has close to 8 outlets all across the city and has been serving tasty North Indian and Mughlai cuisine since 1929! If you are craving authentic Awadhi biryani and Mutton barbeque chops, this place will leave you totally satisfied! They offer their biryani with a side of Rezala, a coconut-cream-yogurt-cashew-nut-paste dish that goes great with any biryani and, in our opinion, should be standard worldwide! On top of your biryani, you'll discover nicely fried onion that is crispy and blends in well with the well-cooked rice and masala! Their signature dish and best-selling dish as well would be their special Awadhi biryani, which comes in a large portion with 2 pieces of mutton, 1 boiled egg, mutton kofta, and enough rice to feed 2 people easily! Every biryani lover has visited Aminia at least once and will return as soon as possible, so keep this restaurant in mind and come here to treat yourself to delicious food and a pleasant ambiance.
INR 700, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Best budget biryani in Kolkata
4. Hanglaatherium, Prince Anwar Shah Road
Hanglaatherium is a small eatery in the hustling street of Prince Anwar Shah Road and is best known amongst college-goers for its affordable and elaborate menu. Among the many cuisines and food dishes they serve, their most famous section is the biryani section. If you love authentic Bengali biryani, this place will blow your mind! They serve some of the most delicious Kolkata-style biryani which can rival even some of the expensive establishments in the city! They have fried potato in their biryani which is fried in pure ghee and then marinated with a mix of spices and masala that give it the authentic taste! Each biryani comes with a sizable serving. One plate of their chicken biryani has 2-3 chicken pieces, 1 cooked egg, 1 fried potato, and enough basmati rice to feed two people! Apart from biryani, this restaurant also provides kebab, and believe us when we say that their chelo kebab is to die for! Hanglaatherium is also the first restaurant in Kolkata to introduce a biryani-kebab combo, where you can get tasty biryani and mouth-watering kebabs at a special discounted price!
INR 500, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
5. The Zeeshan, College Street
If you're a student in Kolkata, you've probably heard about The Zeeshan on College Street, which serves delectable meals at very reasonable costs! When you live away from home as a student, you must make certain compromises. Because you can't afford to eat at expensive restaurants all of the time, you can either eat well at a less-than-ideal location or stick to hostel meals. The scenario is not the same here; The Zeeshan may have the nicest décor or design, and the service may be a touch slow, but when it comes to cuisine, there is no place in the city that delivers a more delicious biryani for the same price! Each biryani serving is enough for at least two dinners for one person! And that too at the fraction of what it costs at other restaurants. The Mirchi ka salan they provide with the biryani has a strong taste and goes really well with the biryani! You should definitely try their biryani at least once!
INR 350, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
6. Azad Hind Dhaba, Bhowanipore
Azad Hind Dhaba is a well-known Kolkata restaurant that serves delectable North Indian, Mughlai, and Chinese cuisines. For the convenience of their consumers, they have various locations throughout the city. Their biryani is unquestionably the best-selling and most popular dish. They prepare their biryani a little differently, their biryani is dry and less oil and they serve the meat separately with gravy that has a strong influence of ginger garlic paste, so you can have the biryani either with or without the side dish. The biryani is incredibly rich, with a wonderful mix of spices and masala, as well as a pinch of saffron. The portion size is also adequate, providing more than enough food for one individual to finish the dish. Their signature mutton biryani has four pieces of well-marinated meat. It has well-cushioned chairs, air conditioning, and adequate lighting, to name a few amenities. The staff is also very friendly and service is fast, the place is even open till as late as midnight. So for all the biryani lovers, your midnight hunger cravings end here!
INR 650, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Fine dining restaurants serving biryani in Kolkata
7. Oudh 1590, Salt Lake
If you ever wanted to experience how the Nawabs and other royalty dined during that era, Oudh 1590 is the closest you can get to having that royal dining experience! Situated in Salt Lake, Oudh 1590 is a fine dining restaurant that serves Awadi and Mughlai cuisine. Best known for their biryani, this is the place you'll find every biryani lover who also loves to dine like a Nawab! We recommend you to try their Raan biryani, which is cooked in an authentic Awadhi cooking style where the meat is slow-cooked for over 6 hours and then cooked again with the rice to give it a very soft texture. The meat literally melts in your mouth the minute you take a bite! Other mind-blowing dishes include the Galhouti Kebab, Murgh Irani, and Badam Sharbat! When it comes to the setting, the moment you walk in, you'll feel like you've stepped onto the set of a Bollywood film set based on the reign of the Lucknowi Nawabs! This location is both beautiful and terrifying, thanks to the costumes, swords, shields, old paintings, murals, ancient furniture, and woodwork artwork on the ceiling and walls. You have to visit this place to appreciate the beauty of this place, which is why we urge you to visit Oudh 1590 and dine like how the Nawabs did!
INR 1200, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
8. The Saffron Tree, Southern Avenue
The Saffron Tree is one of the newest addition to the fine dining restaurants in Kolkata that serves authentic Mughlai and Continental cuisine. If you are ever in the Southern Avenue area, you should definitely visit The Saffron Tree to experience the great ambiance and fine dining experience, all while indulging yourself in some of the best Mughlai biryani in Kolkata! The restaurant is quite spacious and has a lovely ambiance, with fully white-out bricked walls, and yellow and golden accents everywhere, the place is quite bright. They include contemporary seating arrangements that are tastefully spaced to ensure private quality time with a loved one or family. They have a beautiful wall painting on one wall and a skyline of a city with yellow lights on the other. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The service is also quite quick! When it comes to food, they serve Lucknowi and Hyderabadi biryani, and also special Kacchi biryani, which is a very special type of Bengali biryani where raw meat is added with the rice and cooked together with all the spices and masala, this makes the meat extra tasty since all the flavors as now infused inside the meat pieces as well! You should definitely give the Kacchi biryani a try!
INR 1600, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
9. Reflexion, Chinar Park
Situated in the plush Majestic Suites hotel, Reflexion is a fine dining restaurant serving North Indian, Chinese, and Bengali cuisine. It's an all-day restaurant serving delicious food to customers 24/7! They specialize in preparing authentic Bengali biryani - The Kacchi biryani, which tastes absolutely delicious. They source all their ingredients locally and the meat is brought in fresh from the finest meat shops in Kolkata daily. The biryani rice is cooked perfectly with all the spices and masala to ensure the highest quality of biryani being served to customers. Apart from the Authentic Bengali biryani, they even serve Hyderabadi biryani, which is equally tasty. When it comes to the location, it is a great dining establishment with everything in place to ensure that the customers have a lavish meal. With marble flooring, wood-paneled walls, modern-plush furniture for seating, and adequate lighting, the interiors and design are quite rich and stylish, with smooth background music playing to create a tranquil and refreshing ambiance. This is a must-see spot for a family dinner.
INR 1200, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps
Oldest Restaurant serving biryani in Kolkata
10. Nizam's, New Market Area
Opened in 1937, Nizam's is one of the oldest restaurants in the city that serves tasty, delicious biryani to its customers at a very reasonable price! Nizam's is famous for being the place where the Kathi Roll was invented. North Indian, Mughlai, and superb kebab, and biryani are some of the other cuisines and food items they serve. Their kebabs and biryani combo are exquisite and will delight your taste buds! Their Nizam's Special Tum Tum biryani is their signature dish - Mutton biryani with 2 pieces of meat, 1 boiled egg, and fried potato along with the finest basmati rice cooked to perfection with all spices and masala. The portion served is quite decent and at a very reasonable price. The place is always crowded, so if you want to enjoy your biryani in peace, we recommend you get a takeaway and enjoy your food at the comfort of your own home!
INR 500, Cost for 2 | Open in Google Maps